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Research Highlight | Argonne National Laboratory

Shear thickening ordering behavior is unraveled

Scientific achievement

This study resolves a long-standing mystery as to why certain shear thickening fluids have an order-to-disorder transition while others do not, and explains the two different mechanisms responsible for this behavior.

Significance and impact

By separating the order-to-disorder transition occurring in a lower stress régime from the standard steady shear thickening occurring in a higher stress condition, this study proves the former is a strain-related behavior and the latter is a stress-driven behavior.

Research details

  • Highly monodispersed colloidal fluids were created and exposed to both oscillatory and steady shear conditions.
  • The Center for Nanoscale Material’s synthesis capabilities, rheometer and transmission electron microscope (TEM) were used. High-resolution in situ small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was performed at the Advanced Photon Source.
SAXS patterns at different oscillatory shear stresses at 1 Hz.

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.028002

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